“Dozens pay their respects to war victims killed when a bomb hit their bus”

Newham record main image

Hat tip Newham Recorder  “Cllr and members of the public attending a vigil on Dames Road where a V1 flying bomb landed killing people on a bus outside the Holly Tree pub


newham recorder below

The event, organised by Forest Gate North Labour Party, was held at the site of the 1944 blast outside The Hollytree Pub in Dames Road.

It is thought around 20 people died in the explosion, although no reliable record exists because wartime press censorship stopped much detail being published in order to limit the information available to the enemy about attacks.

Cllr Seyi Akiwowo, one of the organisers of Thursday’s event, said: “The event was fantastic. It was put together at short notice and there was a good turnout. I’m glad we were able to pay our respects.”

In his speech at the vigil, Cllr Anam Islam said: “Now, just as then, the price we pay for liberty is eternal vigilance against racism and prejudice.”

West Ham MP Lyn Brown, who was unable to attend the event, told of its importance.

She said: “It is right and important that we commemorate those who perished or lost loved ones in the fight against fascism, and just as important that we remember the anti-fascist and anti-racist heritage of the East End with pride.

“Levels of racist, Islamophobic, and anti-Semitic hate crime have all risen over the past year, and it is important we draw on this past to bring us together and renew the fight against far-right ideology and its terrible effects. That aim will be easier to achieve if we have a more accurate narrative of what actually happened.”

Eyewitness Cyril Demarne is quoted in The Heroic Story of the Second World War Bomb Disposal Teams by James Owen as saying: “A trolley bus, crammed with home going workers, had caught the full blast and the whole area was a sickening sight.

“Dismembered bodies littered the roadway, others were splattered over the brickwork of the houses across the way and the wreckage of the trolley bus was simply too ghastly to describe.

“The lower deck seated passengers were all dead. Although many of the victims had been decapitated, they were still sitting down, as if waiting to have their fares collected.”

(the V1 flying Bomb landed just outside Newham but much of the bomb damage and deaths were inside modern Forest Gate. A 80 year old local resident who remembered being told about the attack pointed out to us the exact impact. The death toil was at least 38 and probably much more)



(Please use john.gray2012@icloud.com and delete john.gray2012@btinternet.com as I will be closing my BT account soon)


West Ham General Election Wash Up

West Ham Labour Party General Election Wash up

This picture is from last Wednesday evening, when we had a West Ham Labour General Election “Wash Up”. CLP Officers, Branch organisers and secretaries were invited to our headquarters in Stratford to talk about and debate, what went right with our election campaign, what could had been done better and preparing for the next General Election (which who really knows but could happen anytime soon).

It was a constructive and honest debate and as the Parliamentary agent for the election who chaired the meeting, I am pleased that everyone present contributed. A report on our findings will be sent out to the CLP. A working group on social media was agreed and will meet soon.

On the whole, most things went well in the election and of course, we won in West Ham with a massive increased majority for our MP, Lyn Brown with 77% of the vote. However, we need to get out more of  our 2,000 West Ham Labour members being active and out campaigning and door knocking in marginals.

This is a really exciting time to be involved in politics and I cannot wait for the next General Election and for the West Ham campaigning machine to play its part in electing a Labour government.

John Gray – Agent

(selfie of us with our top CLP Women’s Officer, Cllr Seyi Akiwowo)

Anti Fascist/Anti Nazi Vigil: Remember V1 Rocket Attack Forest Gate – 27 July 1944

Thursday 27th July – Forest Gate North Labour Party will be holding an Anti Fascist/AnVI about to hit Londonti Nazi vigil to remember those 20 or so local residents killed by a V1 rocket on the 27th of July 1944.

Meet at The Holly Tree Pub 141 Dames Road , E7, corner with Pevensey Road at 6.30 p.m. There will be a short ceremony with flowers laid.

The V1 rocket was a direct hit on a trolley bus. We only know the names of four of the victims; they are:

Abraham Ince, aged 76
Gladys Blackman, aged 39
Wendy Blackman, aged 4
Edith Tilley, aged 41

We will remember those victims of Fascism,as well as those, who against all odds, held out against fascism and stood for democracy.

I hope you can spare half an hour and attend this important local event.

Carel Buxton, Secretary Forest Gate North Labour
email: forestgatenorth@gmail.com 

(check out report of atrocity at the Forest Gate History site “E7 Now & Then”. Photo is of V1 rocket landing somewhere in London during World War 2)

Newham Labour Councillor Candidacy 2018

Newham Council coat of Arms

All Labour Party members in Newham, East London should have received a letter last week from the Labour Party encouraging those eligible to apply to stand as a candidate.

Quite rightly “Women, Black and Minority Ethnic members, Carers, people with disabilities, Council and social housing tenants and members 26 and under” are “particularly welcome“.

To be a candidate you:-

Must live in Newham and be on the electoral register at the address where you hold your membership

Member of Labour Party before 1 January 2016 

Must be up-to-date with your member subscription

Cannot be legally disqualified e.g employee of Newham Council or be politically restricted

Must accept the standing orders of the Labour Group and the code of conduct

Will need to demonstrate a track record of campaigning for the Labour Party. 

To seek selection you need to fill out a form and then undergo an interview. If you pass that then you would have to selected by local Party members in a relevant ward. Sitting Councillors, such as myself, have to go through a similar process.

If you are interested and meet the eligibility then email the regional Labour Party on Newham2018@labour.org.uk and ask for an application pack. This will need to be sent back by Monday 7 August.

Candidates who do not meet the track record of campaigning for the Labour Party will in my view have a real problem now with meeting this requirement.

I would strongly urge candidates who have never applied before to take advice from others on filling out the form and preparing for interviews. I and other existing Councillors will be more than happy to offer advice and support.

Finally, in the letters sent out about the process there has been some sort of an IT error and members told wrongly that they are in arrears or otherwise ineligible. Please check your eligibility and challenge if a mistake has been made.

Good luck!

John Gray West Ham Labour Vice Chair Campaigns and Communications


West Ham Labour at Forest Gate Festival 2017

FG Festival 17

Picture collage from Saturdays Forest Gate Festival. This was a really fantastic event and for the first time we had a Labour Party stall at the festival talking to people and encouraging them to join the Party.

It was amazing how many people said they were already members and the very positive reaction we had from other residents, who were not so far members but are so angry with this government and want to get rid of it.

Watch this space for future campaign events

Celebrate 25 years with Mike Gapes MP

Join Ilford South at an event to celebrate Mike Gapes and his 25 years as an MP in Ilford South.
Date: Saturday 5 August

Where: Ilford Golf Club, Wanstead Park Road, IG1 3TR (there is a large car park at the back of the club)

Menu: Stuffed Portobello Mushroom, Tuscan Chicken, Apple & Blackberry Crumble. Tea/Coffee and mints. The will be a vegetarian option and the chicken will be halal.
Tickets are £35 per head and include dinner, guest speakers and live music.

To purchase tickets please contact Barbara White bw@barbarawhite.co.uk / Wendy Taylor or Ross Hatfull.

Help unseat IDS in Chingford and Woodford Green!

Help unseat IDS in Chingford and Woodford Green!
Join Owen Jones and Labour’s fantastic candidate Bilal Mahmood to campaign to win Chingford and Woodford Green from Iain Duncan Smith on Sunday 9th July.

In 2015, IDS had a majority of over 8,300. It’s now less than 2,500. With a big push, Iain Duncan Smith will lose his seat.

A general election could happen at any moment. Jeremy Corbyn has asked us to be on a permanent general election footing. We can only win in Chingford and Woodford Green if we campaign now.

If you’ve never knocked on a door before – don’t worry. It’s easy, fun, and you’ll be paired with experienced people.

The plan is:
11AM: Meet to canvass at 7 Hatch Lane, Chingford, London E4 6LP
1PM: Fundraising lunch with speeches – All Saints Church, Highams Park E4 9QD
3PM: Meet to canvass at All Saints Church, Highams Park E4 9QD

West Ham Women’s Newsletter
Wednesday 21 June 

Let’s Get Political, Baby!

Hello West Ham Women’s Forum 
We hope you’re having a good week. Thank you again to everyone that helped out campaigning over GE2017. It is great to see so many gains across the country, in Ilford North, Westminster North and an increase here at home in West Ham. You all worked so so hard! The first quick thing you can do to get more involved is to join our West Ham Labour Women Facebook group.

Below are key dates for your lovely diaries and important information

West Ham Thank You

Don’t forget West Ham Labour are throwing a social to thank members and to celebrate majorities here and in many constituencies we helped during the election campaign. Hope you can join us Friday 30th
Time: 7-10 pm Friday 30 June
Location: Eat16, St Lukes, 89 Tarling Rd, E16 1HN

Seyi is happy to give lift from Stratford at 6:45pm – get contact directly with her. Or you can meet Gen at Canning Town Station at 6:15 pm. Click on the picture for more information.
West Ham Labour AGM  – Tonight!

Tonight is West Ham Labour’s AGM. The AGM is where we review how our year has gone, our delegates elect officers of the party for the year and we discuss West Ham’s Standing Orders (policy). If your a new female delegate for your branch or if you would like to observe the meeting, our GC delegate Jane and Seyi would love to meet you beforehand.
We will be outside  Harold Road Community Centre from 6:45 pm and then we can all go together.

Observers (non-delegates) are welcome just a warning AGMs, our AGM isn’t as interesting as our normal GC meetings but it is an opportunity to meet people and see how the local party works. We will be regularly meeting before GC meetings to hopefully make it seem less daunting

Location: 170 Harold Road E13 0SE
Time: 6:45 pm, Thursday 22 June
Contact: Seyi via westhamlabour@gmail.com

Continue Canvassing…

We are really keen to continue canvassing regularly and keep up our Labour presence on the the doorstep. We have local elections in 11 months and we could have another General Election later this year. Our next session will be a Street Stall outside Stratford Station. Those only able to join us for a short period of time for whatever the reason are welcome. If you have any accessibility concerns please let us know.
Location: Stratford Station
Time: 6 – 7:45 pm
Contact: Seyi or Gen via westhamlabour@gmail.com
How you can get more involved in the party or your community.

Our next meeting is designed for women who are keen to get more involved politically whether that is standing as a Cllr, standing for a position in the party or getting more involved in local campaigns and community groups. If you’ve been a member for a while and would like to progress further this session is for you too.
Some of our lovely Councillors and members will talk you through different pathways and activities you can get involved.

Location: Gerry’s Kitchen Gerry Raffles Square then dinner at Stratford Meridian Square​
Time: 7:00 pm 11 July 2017
Contact: Seyi or Seyi via westhamlabour@gmail.com
Councillor Buddies 🙂 

Standing to be a Councillor is very exciting and rewarding but can also be confusing. We don’t want good candidates to be overwhelmed and wanted to set up a system to link you up with a female Councillor to act as a ‘buddy’.  We want to facilitate an informal buddy system so that aspiring Councillors have someone to call upon with questions, someone to meet for coffee, even someone whose surgeries or meetings you could shadow, or do a mock interview with.
If you are interested in being linked up with a buddy, please email Rachel via
via westhamlabour@gmail.com
Summer Social – SAVE THE DATE! 
Another important date for your lovely diaries, we are having a Summer Social BBQ. Children and Babies are welcome and encouraged!  Please bring your own meats and drinks. Those who RSVP Yes by 1st August will be sent the location address.
Let’s get political (baby)!

We were thinking about how to make our activities even more inclusive and wondered you wanted us to hold a small canvassing session that was especially for women who wanted to bring along their babies or small children. Rachel would be happy to bring her youngest, who is 4 and although not a baby does love delivering leaflets.  We would leaflet outside a playgroup or canvass a road for an hour or so, then move somewhere together to feed or entertain the children. It would be great to get our children out and involved in political life, and also to show all our Labour sisters that you are very welcome to get involved whilst you have small children and that we’re happy to include everyone. If anyone is interested, please drop Rachel a line on
via westhamlabour@gmail.com
 In Sisterhood,

Seyi Akiwowo West Ham Women’s Officer
West Ham Women’s Forum Exec